By Cassie Buchman
News Editor | @cjbuchman
Editor’s note: The recommendations in the story are only a few of the many the Workgroup recommendations. The rest can be found at the project’s webpage. We will update the story as we continue to examine and explore what these recommendations mean to the campus community.
Recommendations made by Workgroups in the vitalization project suggested cutting several Academic Programs, along with other changes to the university’s programs and services.
In the report, Workgroup no. 7, which looked at Academic Programs, recommended the bachelor’s degree in adult and community education, the bachelor’s degree in Africana studies, the bachelor’s degree in career and technical education, the master’s program in chemistry, the bachelor’s degree in philosophy, the pre-engineering program, and the master’s program in special education be deleted or consolidated.
Workgroup no. 7 wrote that the deletion of an undergraduate major “does not preclude the continuation of the discipline as a minor or for general education service.”
A full list of the Workgroup no. 1-7’s recommendations can be found at https://www.eiu.edu/vitalizeproject/report/index.php .
An Eastern login is currently needed to access this list.
Workgroups no. 8 and no. 9 are still meeting and developing their own recommendations.
The administration will review the recommendations of the Workgroups to determine which of them, if any, will be implemented. When doing this review, the administration will also consider whether to implement other actions not originally in the Workgroups’ report.
Any processes for program deletion will adhere to contractual agreements, Glassman wrote in the report. The final decision for deletions will be decided by the Board of Trustees.
Glassman has also said previously he will meet with programs recommended for deletion or consolidation.
In a letter on the vitalization project’s website, Glassman wrote that some of the Workgroup recommendations have already been implemented, or were in the process of being implemented, over winter break.
Included in these are adding staff to the Office of International Students and Scholars, improving facilities and addressing infrastructural issues in Coleman Hall, further using the Literacy in Financial Education Center, and improving the university’s marketing strategies.
Other group’s recommendations were posted in the same manner as Workgroup no. 7.
Workgroup no. 1, looking at Student Services, recommended a reorganization of Student Services. They also recommended studying the possible savings and costs of moving from a “self-insured model of student insurance” to other funding and operational models and also studying the potential savings and costs of outsourcing Dining Services.
Another aspect of Student Services the group wanted to study is the potential benefits and disadvantages of repositioning New Student and Family Programs in current or future organizational structure.
Workgroup no. 2, looking at University Technology, recommended the reorganization of Eastern’s IT structure, an audit and review of software, with the elimination of redundant software, and the implementation of a “Uniform Computing Experience” on campus.
Recommended by Workgroup no. 3, for enrollment management, was the outsourcing of marketing and International Student Transcript Analysis. They also recommended automating the re-admission process and choosing a single imaging system for campus use.
In Workgroup no. 4, charged with evaluating Intercollegiate Athletics, it was recommended that individual sport teams be evaluated to determine elimination possibilities and that the university use a cohesive brand strategy. Also included in the recommendations was addressing the athletic training staffing levels by increasing the personnel or reducing the amount of student-athletes they serve.
Workgroup no. 5, looking at the university’s facilities, suggested investing in more staff for the department and completing products, as well as creating a Facilities Planning and Management Project Team.
They also recommended investing in renovations to classrooms, laboratory spaces, and housing and dining spaces.
The Marketing Workgroup, no. 5, suggested the university hire personnel to perform marketing functions they can do and outsource marketing activities it cannot perform for at least one calendar year.
The group suggested reducing reliance on outsourcing in years two through five as new staff members are hired. Another recommendation the group had was to house the University’s Marketing and Communication department under a “broader umbrella.”
Under this umbrella would be enrollment management, advancement and business operations.
Ryan Hendrickson, the project’s task force’s chair, said he reviewed the recommendations with Glassman over winter break.
During the break, Hendrickson had what he called “ad-hoc” discussions from colleagues about the project.
Now, he will continue his role as task force chair by coordinating with Workgroup no. 9 and the Workgroup chairs as well as being a member of Workgroup no. 8.
Hendrickson said he does not know yet how the prioritization of these recommendations will go.
In Glassman’s letter, he reiterated the importance of Eastern becoming competitive in the student marketplace.
“Like many colleges and universities across Illinois and the United States, we face enrollment challenges,” he wrote, saying the university must adapt, change and evolve to attract students. “…Staying the same is simply not an option.”
Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]